Kiper likes Riggs, UT

If Mel Kiper knows his stuff, 2005 is going to be a fun year for the University of Tennessee football team.

Kiper, college football and NFL Draft expert for ESPN, said on a weekend radio show that the Vols are his pick to win the Southeastern Conference Eastern Division title this fall, then beat Louisiana State University in the SEC Championship Game.

In addition, Kiper lists senior running back Gerald Riggs, Jr., as the leading candidate to be the SEC's Offensive Player of the Year. Riggs certainly has strong credentials. He ran for 1,107 yards as a Vol junior last season, including a 182-yard outing vs. Auburn in the SEC title game. (P.S. -- Riggs is the subject of an in-depth, eight-page profile in Rocky Top News' Tennessee Football 2005, which should hit the newsstands around July 15th.)

Safety LaRon Landry, who led LSU in tackles (86) last fall for the second year in a row, is Kiper's pick to be SEC Defensive Player of the Year. Landry, a 6-2, 187-pound junior, was a second-team selection to the Coaches' All-SEC squad last fall.

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